The grown crop of amaranth is actively used in animal husbandry, for the preparation of unique additives that promote health, eliminate diseases and, as a result, bring savings. In our case, we are talking about grain and how to prepare it for animal husbandry, as well as the possibility of storing the crop. So, how best to preserve the grown and harvested amaranth grain so that it can be used in animal husbandry now and in a few years.
Amaranth makes feed healthier.
The quality of feed is greatly enhanced by the addition of new non-traditional crops with high nutritional value. Among these cultures a special place belongs to amaranth. In the process of animal husbandry practice, it is established that if the usual feed is 1/3 or 1/4 mixed with amaranth supplement, animals and birds grow faster and do not get sick. So, piglets grow 2.5 times faster, rabbits, nutria and chickens – 2-3 times, piglets gain up to 60 kg of body weight during the month, and cows and goats significantly increase milk yield and milk fat.
The use of amaranth makes animal feed more valuable and balanced in amino acid composition, and amaranth itself is necessary in animal husbandry as a high-protein feed culture. Amaranth has no equal among grain crops in the content of protein and lysine. It contains a large number of substances such as:
Amaranth also leads in fat, fiber, and the protein of this plant is characterized by a high content of essential amino acids.
As a result of various studies, it was also found that when feeding dairy cows, for example, the introduction of amaranth supplements has a positive effect on the productivity and fat content of milk. Thus, the average daily milk yield of cows in the studied farms increased by 6%, and the fat content of milk – by 0.1%. At the same time, a certain economy was noted, since the consumption of feed for milk production as a result of animal feeding with amaranth additives decreases: 1.8 kg less feed units are consumed by 1 kg of natural milk.
In particular, the introduction of amaranth in the diet of sows gave such results as:
• increase in multiple pregnancy;
• reduction in live weight loss;
• large “milkiness” of sows;
• the best safety of offspring;
• the best growth of young stock;
• cost reduction in feed units per 1 individual.
As is known, green mass is considered the most popular component of improved feed for livestock. It is used separately, and also goes on preparation of a grass flour or granules, a senazh, a silo. However, it should be borne in mind that in the case of the use of fertilizers when growing amaranth in the green mass, nitrates, salts of oxalic acid may accumulate, and this affects the quality of the harvested silage, for example. Therefore, the best option would be amaranth grain. In addition, it contains a large amount of protein (up to 18%), balanced for essential amino acids. For comparison, it can be noted that the amount of protein from 1 ha of amaranth is not inferior to soy, and the quality is much higher than soy protein.
Optimal ways of preparing amaranth grain for feeding to animals
You can see that amaranth grain is extremely small and even resembles poppy. The mass of 1000 amaranth seeds is only 0.4-0.55 g, and the size of a single whole grain in diameter does not exceed 0.6-0.8 mm. This is already less than the optimal grain size suitable for feeding concentrates. But even with this condition, it is not recommended to introduce amaranth grain into the feed without grinding, since whole grain has powerful biological protection against digestive enzymes. Therefore, when adding whole grain to feed, its digestibility deteriorates, and in order to avoid this, it is necessary to take care of the correct processing of the raw materials before feeding them to animals.
One of the types of preparation of amaranth grain for feeding animals is extrusion, when heat treatment of raw materials occurs. As a result of this process, profound changes in the properties of the feed occur: the product itself is compacted and its specific weight increases. At the same time, the processed raw material does not turn into a viscous mass, as it happens with barley, maize or other crops. The heat-treated amaranth grain ceases to dust, and the size of its particles can be adjusted using a chopper, and as a result, a free-flowing product is obtained in the most acceptable form for animals. In addition, under the influence of heat treatment, the chemical composition changes significantly: there is an increase in the concentration of protein, fiber and sugars. Extrusion also contributes to the decomposition of phytic acid amaranth, and as a result, the availability of mineral elements of the feed increases. Let’s not forget about the difference in costs: for example, extrusion of amaranth and soybean requires about the same cost, but the cost of amaranth grain is 1.85 times lower than that of soybean. Therefore, it can be argued that, subject to the preliminary extrusion of grain, amaranth is a valuable fodder crop.
High-temperature micronization of grain is also practiced. During this process, detoxification occurs, the destruction of harmful substances, almost complete surface and internal disinfection. As a result, harmful microflora is destroyed, and the total number of microorganisms is reduced by 5-6 times. The duration of the process can vary between 45-60 seconds, but the second option is considered the most effective. In addition, during micronisation, the grain bursts, increasing in volume, and its stiffness decreases. The effect of micronized grain in the composition of the feed has been tested in practice: when feeding such an additive, the pigs accelerate their growth and increase the live weight by 16%. This indicates a better digestibility of such feed and the better absorption of the nutrients contained in it.
Proper storage as a guarantee of quality food preparation
Grain processing is necessary not only for the preparation of feed, but also in order to preserve the harvest. In this regard, it is important to take care of the procedure for disinfecting grain, ensuring proper conditions for humidity and ventilation. If you do not send the grain to dry, excessive moisture will have a negative impact and the whole product will be spoiled, your valuable qualities will be lost. It can be noted here that providing the necessary conditions will not only improve the quality of feed, but also the preservation of seeds as a seed (germination can be maintained for 4-5 years).
There are basic conditions for long-term preservation of valuable qualities by seeds. It:
• desired temperature level;
• compliance with the humidity limit.
The best indicators are: storage temperature 5 ° С, humidity 8%. So, if the humidity is reduced by at least 1%, the shelf life is halved. At high humidity, an arbitrary warming of the seeds occurs, as indicated by the appearance of a sour or stale smell. It is equally important to observe the optimum storage temperature of the crop, since there is a tendency for grain to germinate. Therefore, the storage temperature should not exceed 15 ° C and this condition is important even for dry seeds.
Before putting the crop in storage, the grain must be cleaned, disinfected, and active ventilation with dry air established. During storage, it is important to check also the reserves for humidity and temperature. Dry and medium dry grain is checked 1 time in 4 days, wet and raw – daily.